The State Library of South Australia is excited to be working with Mem Fox, one of Australia’s most
celebrated children’s authors, to create a dedicated space for children and families in the library’s
Named in honor of Mem Fox’s contribution to children’s literature and early childhood literacy,
this special place will be where families can come to read and play together, engage in creative
activities, and attend children’s programs and events.
The library aims to provide a space for children and families to explore stories and storytelling in an inclusive and inspiring environment. The Institute Building has long been a place to celebrate literacy, history and culture. It is fitting then that it is to be revitalized as a child and family friendly space, celebrating children’s literature.
Mem Fox’s iconic books are hugely popular with children, parents, teachers, librarians and the
wider community. She has published more than 45 titles to date, and Possum Magic and Where is
the Green Sheep? frequently appear on lists of most borrowed library books.
In acknowledging the honor Mem Fox says “The phrase ‘I’m truly humbled is so often used that
it’s lost much of its currency, so I hesitate to use it yet again. But I am indeed truly humbled, to the
point of embarrassment, at being the focus of the State Library initiative to celebrate my life’s
achievements. I do not want it merely to be a memorial or static archive used solely by adults. I want
it to be a vibrant destination for children, parents and grandparents – all generations. ”
Along with celebrating contemporary children’s literature and authors, the area will showcase the
library’s renowned Children’s Literature Research Collection. Established in 1959, this collection
contains books, magazines, toys and games played with by South Australian children from
European settlement up to the present day.
Though in its early stages the library looks forward to working with our public libraries colleagues,
child development experts, designers and others to make sure that this dedicated area is
enchanting, engaging and appropriate for children of all ages. This area forms part of a wider plan
to provide the community of South Australia with richly engaging and memorable experiences
across the State Library.
Geoff Strempel, Director State Library of South Australia, says “We are looking forward to
welcoming children into this space and introducing them to their State Library. Libraries play an
important part in encouraging children to read, play and explore, sparking their imagination.
Connecting children with libraries from an early age shows them they have access to a world of
valuable print and online resources. ”
Updates about the development of this exciting space within the library will be available on the
websites of the State Library of South Australia and Mem Fox, and also on the library’s social